The first Karoo Parliament will take place in Philipstown near De Aar in the Northern Cape, on 10 and 11 October 2013.
Following the Karoo Development Foundation’s Conference in Beaufort West during October 2012, it emerged that many exciting developments are taking place in Karoo towns, but that they are poorly co-ordinated.
As a result, a Karoo Parliament will be held on an annual basis, where Karoo towns can share their experiences and lessons. The Parliament will be an opportunity for Karoo stakeholders to reflect on new development strategies.
As Prof Doreen Atkinson, co-ordinator of the Karoo Development Foundation notes, the word “parliament” is derived from the French word parler, meaning “to talk”, and that is what the Karoo needs to do, she says.
Each Karoo town is requested to send at least three delegates – one from the private sector or community organizations, one from the municipality, and one from the farming community. All four Karoo provinces are invited: Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and southern Free State.
The theme of the Karoo Parliament is: ‘Sharing our Successes’. Such best practice experience could include:
- Tourism initiatives
- Agriculture and food security
- Farm worker development
- Arts, crafts and performing art
- Sports development projects
- Health projects (HIV/TB, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, Orphanage and childcare)
- Primary or High school development programmes
- Waste recycling
- Small businesses with innovative products or reaching new markets
- Infrastructure maintenance
- Beautification of urban areas
- Care for the elderly
- Animal welfare projects.
The participating towns will be requested to fill in a Karoo Showcase Form before the event. These forms will be published in the Conference Booklet, and also added to the KDF Website.
There will be space to exhibit Karoo products at no cost at the Parliament venue – the Bokskryt. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all the unsung heroes of the region. All Karoo communities are welcome.
To take part, contact Anita Harmse on 051 401 3424 or 072 992 5099. You could also email firstname.lastname@example.org or check www.karoofoundation.co.za for more details.